Facebook working on creepy new voice assistant nobody wants or needs

Just what we needed, said exactly no one.

Male tech execs accused of sexual misconduct now getting second chances

* whether they deserve one or not

Facebook says it never sells your data but these internal documents show exactly how much they value your data in dollars

Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data—maybe yours?—to crush rivals and aid allies, leaked documents show.

Facebook's '15 months of Fresh Hell' detailed deliciously by WIRED

'Scandals. Backstabbing. Resignations. Record profits. Time Bombs. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook.'

Welp. That didn't work.

The May issue cover story of WIRED Magazine is a 12,000-word rip-snorting takedown of Facebook. Read the rest

Silicon Valley's techie uprisings reveal growing support for socialism in tech

As workers at companies from Kickstarter to Gimlet to Vox vote to unionize, and as traditional labor organizers call on game devs and others to organize, Silicon Valley is a lot more friendly to pro-labor policies than ever before. Read the rest

Mar-a-Lago mystery Chinese malware lady to stay in jail for another week

COURT SKETCH: WILLIAM HENNESSY. Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman who was arrested for illegally entering the president's Mar-a-Lago resort, appeared in court Monday.

Yujing Zhang was arrested in March for lying to Secret Service agents at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, to gain access to the private club. According to investigators, the 32-year-old Chinese national had malware on her person, and behaved more like a bumbling spy than anything else. So who is she? Read the rest

Gizmodo to be acquired for second time in 4 years

“Private equity firm Great Hill Partners has agreed to acquire Gizmodo Media Group from Univision, forming a new company led by digital media exec Jim Spanfeller,” reports the Wall Street Journal's Benjamin Mullin. Read the rest

Teens 'not damaged by screen time', new Oxford study finds

Research by Oxford University scientists finds “little evidence of a relationship between screen time and wellbeing in adolescents.” Based on data from over 17,000 teenagers, the study “casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people’s mental health.”

This isn't the first time a scientific study has disproven the notion of a direct link between the amount of time teenagers spend on devices and their well-being, but it's good to know we can worry less about teens' time on-screen. Read the rest

NSA domestic surveillance debate returns to Congress with 'Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Act'

“It’s time, finally, to put a stake in the heart of this unnecessary government surveillance program and start to restore some of Americans’ liberties,” Wyden said in a statement.

Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry gave 6 secret authorizations to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

U.S. Department Of Energy Secretary Rick Perry gave “six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia,” Reuters reports, based on a copy of a document seen by reporters on Wednesday. Read the rest

Twitter update lets iOS users go ‘Lights Out,’ adds automatic dark modes

Today, Twitter announced expanded 'dark mode' options for iOS users. Previously, Twitter offered a blue/gray dark mode theme, but they've added a true black/white “Lights Out” mode, and an automated dark mode.

“Giving more people options to personalize their experience on Twitter based on what makes them most comfortable is what the latest update to Dark Mode is all about,” Bryan Haggerty, Senior Design Manager at Twitter, said in the company's announcement.

Dim: Dim is the current Dark Mode theme that we introduced in 2016 – a blue/grey color that still gives people a more comfortable way to enjoy Twitter for any environment you’re in and helps reduce eye strain in low lit environments.

Lights Out: Our new theme for Dark Mode, which is a pure black color palette that emits no light since the pixels are turned off. This is a great option for those who want an even darker theme for low lit environments that reduces eye strain, and can potentially help with saving battery.

Automatic Dark Mode: Now, Twitter for iOS devices can enable automatic dark mode to switch from light to the dark mode theme of their choice according to their timezone. This feature takes the burden off of people to make the adjustments. If you’re using Twitter all day long, it’s better on the eyes to have a tool that adjusts for the varying environments, contexts, and atmospheres you’ll experience throughout the day.

You should be able to launch the new modes with a close/reopen of the app, if updates are enabled. Read the rest

Leaked Apple docs describe support program for 3rd-party repairs, just as right-to-repair bills in 20 states would require

Documents from Apple leaked to reporters describe a program of support for third-party repairs, and the details sound like it was intended to comply with the requirements of a slew of new right-to-repair bills proposed in some 20 U.S. states. Read the rest

"I am an Uber employee and I support the drivers’ strikes."

“The authenticity of the following anonymous op-ed has been verified by Medium’s editorial staff.” Read the rest

Does Donald Trump blocking certain Twitter accounts violate First Amendment?

The DOJ argued that while Trump tweets in official capacity, blocking users is personal.

Venezuela hit by second electrical blackout in one month, capital city of Caracas mostly without power

Reuters reports that all lights were out across many regions of Venezuela including much of the capital city of Caracas on Monday. Read the rest

Secret emails show Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica earlier than they've said, DC AG claims

“The general public itself has little or no interest in this Document that could warrant exposing Facebook to the risks that would inevitably accompany disclosure.” — Facebook

Breakthrough programmable computer made from DNA running chemical software

For more than two decades, researchers have explored using DNA as a chemical computer. Until now though, DNA computers have only been capable of solving whatever mathematical problem they were built to tackle. Now though, researchers have demonstrated a more general-purpose DNA computer that can run a variety of chemical "programs." From Caltech:

"Think of them as nano apps," says Damien Woods, professor of computer science at Maynooth University near Dublin, Ireland, and one of two lead authors of the study. "The ability to run any type of software program without having to change the hardware is what allowed computers to become so useful. We are implementing that idea in molecules, essentially embedding an algorithm within chemistry to control chemical processes."

The system works by self-assembly: small, specially designed DNA strands stick together to build a logic circuit while simultaneously executing the circuit algorithm. Starting with the original six bits that represent the input, the system adds row after row of molecules—progressively running the algorithm. Modern digital electronic computers use electricity flowing through circuits to manipulate information; here, the rows of DNA strands sticking together perform the computation. The end result is a test tube filled with billions of completed algorithms, each one resembling a knitted scarf of DNA, representing a readout of the computation. The pattern on each "scarf" gives you the solution to the algorithm that you were running. The system can be reprogrammed to run a different algorithm by simply selecting a different subset of strands from the roughly 700 that constitute the system.

Read the rest

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